The Longest Ride

- Nicholas Sparks

Goodreads Book Blurb:

Ira Levinson is in trouble. At ninety-one years old, in poor health and alone in the world, he finds himself stranded on an isolated embankment after a car crash. Suffering multiple injuries, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes and comes into focus beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together – how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families. Ira knows that Ruth can’t possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage.

A few miles away, at a local rodeo, a Wake Forest College senior’s life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward — even life and death – loom large in everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans — a future that Luke has the power to rewrite . . . if the secret he’s keeping doesn’t destroy it first.

Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.


My Review:

enjoyable/easy to read:

I’m not sure there’s anything that can be said about a Nicholas Sparks book that hasn’t been said before. The Longest Ride is stereotypical Sparks with the familiar setting, the contrasting narratives of maturity and youth, and the hopeless love story (but they’re so different! How will this ever work out?!).

I always find these books to be superficial but enjoyable. The narrative flows easily, never gets caught up in too many details (especially the dark or smutty ones), and someone always has to die. Sorry folks, it’s unavoidable: it’s not Nicholas Sparks until someone is dead. While I did enjoy the story this time, it was too much of a …

happy ending, all tied up in a neat coincidental bow. Even Ira’s death seemed to be exactly what he wanted, so there weren’t too many tears shed there.

The characters were a little one-dimensional, fulfilling their necessary roles without a wide range of emotions, and all so unbelievably pure and perfect.

I enjoy Sparks’ works for what they are: sweet romances with a side of death to keep the reader engaged and emotional. I just wish they had more depth and left me with less of an evangelical aftertaste.

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